Fiorina announced her candidacy the same day that conservative firebrand Ben Carson also entered the race for the Republican nomination, with the two joining three others—Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky—and more, such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, on the way.
On her campaign site, Fiorina leans heavily on her controversial seven-year tenure leading HP and on her personal story in which she rose from secretary to become first female CEO of a Fortune 50 company. She also talks about her failed 2010 bid to unseat longtime Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. And she continues her criticism of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, saying that the country’s “founders never intended us to have a professional political class.”
In the run-up to her announcement, Fiorina has stressed her business experience, saying she understands how the economy works and touting negotiations and discussions she has had with world leaders both during her time with HP and in the years after she was fired from the position. Her years as HP CEO are best known for the $24 billion acquisition of rival PC maker Compaq in 2002. The deal generated a lot of controversy at the time, and industry observers continue to debate how well it worked for HP. Current CEO Meg Whitman plans to split HP in two later this year. One of the two new companies—HP Inc.—will sell PCs and printers.
Also during her time with HP, the company cut more than 30,000 jobs and saw a 49 percent decline in the company’s stock.
On her campaign site, Fiorina highlights some accomplishments, including doubling revenues, quadrupling cash flow and growing HP from the 28th largest company in the United States to No. 11. She also argues that the struggles she had with HP directors are similar to what the country currently faces economically.
“Carly didn’t always make the popular decisions at HP—but, time and time again, they would prove to be the right ones,” her Website states. “But even though her record as CEO speaks for itself, Carly faced headwinds from people who did want to see HP change. They wanted to double-down on the flawed agenda that simply wasn’t sustainable against the new challenges of the 21st Century. Our nation faces this very same problems today—where career politicians protect the current system that personally benefits them, but no longer works for the American people.”